Gyoza are Chinese inspired part-pan fried, part steamed dumplings called jiao zi, also known as ‘pot stickers’ – as they stick to the pan whilst being pan-fried. In Mandarin, they are also known as guo tie – guo meaning ’pot’, and tie meaning ‘to stick’ – hence ‘pot stickers’. Don’t you just love direct translations?
I found the time to make them last week after I was sent home early from work for being ill (as nobody wanted to contract my cold virus). I wasn’t that ill… 😛
Making gyoza is great fun, especially if you have someone making them with you. In my case, Marc was on hand to help (though he did rather reluctantly as the rugby was on). These gyoza are made with Quorn mince, a vegetarian meat substitute. Gyoza are traditionally made with minced pork. I have yet to find the perfect meat-free substitute for the pork, as the Quorn mince was dry and flaky. Nevertheless, the result was still quite nice.
Gyoza are great for lunch boxes and picnics.
For gyoza (should be enough for 30 to 40 pieces)
- Gyoza skin (get them from Chinatown or H Mart in New Malden)
- 350g Quorn mince (get them from chiller section, not freezer)
- 2 to 3 finely chopped white mushrooms (or 4 to 5 shiitake if you have them)
- 2 to 3 napa cabbage leaves / Chinese leaves (blanch them quickly then finely chop)
- A handful of finely chopped spring onions / salad onions / scallions
- A small knob of ginger, finely grated (do not chop as they will clump together and you will end up with mouthfuls of ginger)
- Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- White pepper
- Soy sauce, 2 to 3 tbsp
- Roasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp (or more if you find the Quorn too dry)
For gyoza dip
- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- 3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp of mirin (sweet cooking sake) – optional (I have had it without, and it still tasted alright)
- Several pinches of sugar (again, optional, if you are concerned about your health)
- Chopped chillies / Chilli flakes are fine
- Add some of the ginger and green onions into the dip if you fancy
1. Mix the gyoza ingredients (apart from the skin, of course) in a mixing bowl. Use your hands to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
2. Taste-test by taking one tsp and shallow-frying in the pan with some oil until golden brown. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
3. Then fill a small ramekin with some water. The water is what you use to seal your gyoza.
4. Here’s the hard (albeit fun) bit. Place a gyoza skin on your left palm (or right if you are left-handed like us). Shape a tsp of gyoza filling into a little ball. Then follow infographics below:
Here is what our ready-to-cook gyoza looked like.
If you made too many, just wrap them up with cling film and refrigerate. But then again, you can never eat too many gyoza.
5. Heat a tsp on sesame oil in a shallow pan (other healthier oils are fine, though sesame oil is one of the most fragrant). Distribute the oil evenly with a spatula so that it covers the base of the pan completely. When the oil is hot enough, gently place the gyoza in the pan (pleats up).
6. Let it fry for a few minutes on low to medium heat. Once the bottom of the gyoza is slightly charred, add two tbsps of water to the pan, and cover pan with lid to let it steam.
7. Leave it for a few minutes, checking periodically. Take this opportunity to make your dip.
8. Once cooked through (when the water is gone), remove lid. The gyozashould slide off the pan. Slightly charred on the bottom, and smooth and moist on the top. Serve immediately with dip. 🙂